According to a BBC News political report, Sir Richard Branson, head of the Virgin Group and member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, fought for an end to the war on drugs before the Commons committee last week. If Branson has his way, the responsibility for setting drug policy would be moved to the health department freeing up time and money for the Home Office to pursue real criminals instead of recreational and medicinal cannabis users.
As part of this initiative, Branson also recommended that the UK cannabis trade should be regulated and taxed to support treatment programs for anyone found to be abusing cannabis or any harder drug. To many, this would be an important first step toward decriminalizing marijuana use in Great Britain.
As mentioned in the Guardian, here are a few more key points that Branson made during his testimony:
- Over 100,000 people are arrested for drugs in the UK each year costing £200 million and about 20% of the police force’s available time. About 70,000 people end up with troublesome criminal records as a result.
- The switch from enforcement to regulation and treatment has been successful in Portugal. No one in that country has been imprisoned for drug use in 10 years, and addiction and drug-related deaths are down over that same timeframe.
- Regulation would lead to quality controls that could prevent overdoses, injury and even death.
- Branson does not recommend the same freedom of access for cocaine, heroin and other hard drugs.
Leave it to the always-brash Sir Branson to finish up the discussion with a bit of challenge for Prime Minister David Cameron. He said that Cameron would have to “be brave” in order to make a responsible change in the current drug policy. Only time will tell if this world leader will rise to the challenge and do the right thing for the country, the government and the people of the United Kingdom.
If the Rhino gets a say, we’d like to take these measures one step further. We would include a compassionate-use clause that allows responsible adults to grown their own cannabis from seed. This would ensure that everyone would have access to affordable, high-quality smoke that hasn’t been tampered with. We hope both Sir Richard & Prime Minister Cameron agree with our plan!
Remember, until cannabis cultivation is legalized in the UK, all marijuana seeds sold by Rhino Seeds are intended for collection and souvenir purposes only. Feel free to stockpile as many cannabis seeds as you like pending legal changes, but don’t put any to work. We’d like to see our entire herd roaming free rather than languishing behind bars.